Beginner Metalsmith

I would like to get into metalworking, I have a few questions on it.

  1. what are the basic tools I need to start off with forge, anvil, hammer, tongs, safety equipment, etc. ?

  2. What should you start off forging?

  3. I’m located in Southern Louisiana are there any blacksmiths in that area that I could learn from.

  4. Are there any decent people to watch on YouTube?

Welcome to the forums and to the craft, @Mercier!

To answer your questions as best I can:

  1. Forge is probably the most important, can’t do anything without heated metal. Be sure to be safe as the forge is often the most dangerous piece of a blacksmith kit as well, come to us with questions!

After that, a simple 2-ish lb cross pein hammer and a ~60 lb anvil will set you up right.

  1. Start off forging simple things, things like nails are great and in fact I know quite a number of smiths that sell nails, so if you get good at them then you can turn and sell them. Also things such as hooks, S style hooks and J style hooks, are great for just learning to bend, scroll, and punch holes.

  2. I’m sure there are lots of blacksmiths in your area, you just have to find a local group from that area! Unfortunately I don’t know any groups off the top of my head, but maybe someone nearer to you may know?

  3. There are quite a few great YouTube folks out there, Alec Steele is the most well known, I haven’t seen his work in a while but he is pretty darn popular. I really enjoy Torbjorn Ahman and Gary Huston

Again welcome, hope to see you sticking around :slight_smile:

Hello I’m fairly new to Blacksmithing and I hope no one minds me asking in a reply but I don’t know how to ask anywhere else.

I was just wondering if there is a reason my knives keep breaking when I test them? I have done everything possible to ensure a good quench and temper. I’ve even used a microscope to look for cracks before going into a quench. I temper my knives with blue on the spine and straw yellow on the cutting edge. When I went to test the flexibility of my knife by pressing down slightly on the middle my knife broke.

I am just wondering what I am doing wrong. I was using a file at the time that wasn’t case hardened for my metal. The knife was about seven inches long and one inch wide. the only thing that I didn’t take much care to do was check if the metal was non magnetic before going into the quench, however because the color was orangy yellow I knew the knife was none magnetic or above.

I would deeply appreciate any suggestions or pointers on where I’m going wrong or things I can improve so as to get the best quench and temper.